By By Faz Zia
Aditi Rao Hydari established herself with her great acting skills. Luck did her a favour as she ended up sharing screen with Mr Amitabh Bachan in Wazir and working with excellent directors such as Mani Ratnam and currently Sanjay Leela Bansali for the upcoming movie Padmavati.
Last week she was here for Paratham charity event as a guest of honour and I was able to catch up with her and talk more about her career, upcoming projects and the recent topic of sexual harassment in film industry.
Q: Tell us about your visit to London?
Aditi: I always love coming to London and today I am here for Pratham charity dinner which is working for girls education and I really believe that the more you share the more you give the more you receive and i’m hoping today people will be very generous with their pockets as Pratham makes sure the technology reaches villages in India and every child has access to this technology as this is the way forward. Technology and education is the way to empower children.
Q: Tell us your journey to film industry from Tamil to Hindi?
Aditi: I was not an actor that time, I was studying and my mum said first you need to finish your study and then join films as in our family education is very important and education empowers you as a person. After finishing my study I joined the industry and it has been an amazing journey with my families support. I say this to other people like me that if you have a dream then you should go out there and you can make your dream come true if your intentions behind your dreams are right. For me films are not to be famous or earn money, I know it is good to be independent and being famous is fun, but more importantly it is the magic of cinema and the thirst of playing different characters and working with amazing directors, so I feel if your intentions are clear and you’re focused then you can do anything and nothing can stop you.
Q: You’re political and Royal family background – did it come in the way of
joining the film industry?
Aditi: My mother made sure that I finished my education first, but there were never any hurdles from my family. My family is very liberal, they are educated and they are progressive, so for them cinema is a artistic field. There is amazing cinema in our country and in the world and I have all the freedom to go out there and make my dreams come true. My family trust that I am not going to misuse my freedom.
Q: How did you feel to receive your first award for supporting actor for Yeh Saali Zindagi?
Aditi: It was amazing, even I was not sitting there, I was outside giving interviews because my film London, Paris, NewYork was releasing so I just ran to get my award. Any award is amazing, it encourages you to work harder and you know you are on the right path and people appreciate you. I do also believe that this is not the only thing you work for; you make your character to the best of your ability.
Q: You have worked in many films like Wazir, Fitoor, Rockstar- how was sharing the screen with Mr Amitabh Bachchan because many actors have dreams to work with Mr Bachchan?
Aditi: Yes I dreamt to work with Mr Bachchan and I think every actor does, he is a great actor of our country and it was amazing working with him. He is very inspiring, working with him was very nice, he is a very kind and fun person to work with; on set he is an artist and he is playing a part and he is a very humble person, he gives you that freedom to be normal around him he doesn’t make you uncomfortable at all.
Q: Another big name is Mani Ratnam, how was that experience?
Aditi: Working with Mani Sir was my childhood dream, when Mani Sir called for the movie I was pinching myself as I couldn’t believe it and it was the Tamil language I didn’t know but I made sure that I learnt every dialogue of my script that even in my sleep if you asked me any dialogue I could tell you the entire scene. I learnt the language with Mani Sir, he helped and trained me. Mani Sir is a great director and I wanted to give my best as an actor to the film as it was my childhood dream and Mani Sir was very special, his characterisation of girls is so beautiful, it is not just a about a pretty face, she has mind on her own it feels good playing the character.
Q: You are very lucky that you worked with top actors and directors?
Aditi: Yes I am very lucky; I must be doing something right!
Q: Padmavati. We all are waiting for this movie; tell us about your part.
Aditi: Even I am looking forward for it, I haven’t seen the movie yet but I only have a small part in the film.
Q: You started dance in your early age, alongside singing as well which part of art do you enjoy the most?
Aditi: I started with dance at the age of 5, I am not a trained singer but recently I sang live with A, R Rehman which was a tick off my bucket list. I am a trained dancer but not a singer. Artists can’t choose what they like the most, for me it is the form of art and I enjoy them all. I feel acting is so amazing it is an amalgamation of all the art forms and it makes me feel complete and I actually feel the magic between shoot and cut is amazing. I love acting but I know that because I love dance and I love music, it makes me an actor
Q: Your recent film Bhoomi, which was Sanjay Dutts come back, how was the role you played as a daughter?
Aditi: I never thought that I would play a role with Sanjay Sir and the role of father daughter is particularly very special and for this I called him a big friendly giant because he is very sweet and is like a teddy bear. Our bond from day one was very protective and very nurturing, he is fun to work with. The film was set in a small town and about a girl who goes through with sexual violence so it was very hard playing that role, some days I was crying and felt tortured thinking about those who are going through with this because I was only playing a role.
Q: What’s your take on the recent topic of sexual harassment in film industry?
Aditi: Every girl, every woman out there is dealing with some kind of sexual violence and I really admire people who have the courage to speak up. I hope people speak up in India too because it happens there in workplaces and not just in the film industry. It is rare for people to speak up and for such quick action taken like in Hollywood. In India it won’t because there is so much money riding on those people that nobody will support a woman who will speak up. I fear it might happen but I hope one day girls speak up because I know is happening. It shouldn’t be a barter to get work, you are an artist you are here for work not for sexual favours, I hope people will speak up one day.